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Unaccompanied Young MigrantsIdentity, Care and Justice$
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Sue Clayton, Anna Gupta, and Katie Willis

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781447331865

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447331865.001.0001

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Spaces of belonging and social care

Spaces of belonging and social care

(p.159) Six Spaces of belonging and social care
Unaccompanied Young Migrants

Louise Drammeh

Policy Press

Unaccompanied young migrants are in a precarious situation but despite this, they can and do create some feelings of belonging. This chapter explores the forms and spaces of belonging that young people create, and the ways in which social workers and others can support this process. It examines the concept of belonging in relation to an asylum system designed to exclude. Despite structural constraints, young people strive to create some spaces of belonging, including accommodation, schools and colleges, places of worship, social networks and local neighbourhoods. The chapter suggests how, through creative and assertive use of existing processes, social workers can stand alongside young people, challenge oppression, overcome barriers and strengthen their opportunities to create and sustain those experiences of belonging. The chapter concludes that although unaccompanied young people do, in many ways, create some spaces of belonging, unless structural inequalities are addressed these will be contingent, incomplete and fragile.

Keywords:   asylum, belonging, inequalities, social work, unaccompanied young migrants

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